Azteca America Gets The Los Angeles Chargers

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Azteca Los Angeles 54 announced last week more details of its exclusive multiyear agreement to serve as the Los Angeles Chargers Spanish-language flagship television station and broadcaster of three preseason games. Additionally, the Los Angeles Chargers and Azteca plan to expand the broadcast to reach fans and viewers throughout all of Southern California.

“We are excited to serve as the flagship Spanish-language station for the Los Angeles Chargers preseason games as they “Fight for LA,’” said Enrique Perez, Executive Vice President, Azteca America Station Group. “Our viewers throughout Southern California will be able to watch the games live as well as participate in team-supported community events for fans of all ages in the local LA area.”

Beginning in September, and continuing through the NFL season, Azteca Los Angeles will broadcast a weekly primetime show featuring Los Angeles Chargers highlights and expert commentary that will provide viewers and fans with behind-the-scenes coverage. Azteca Los Angeles 54 also will look to broaden its relationship with the Chargers through its affiliate stations in an effort to provide even greater access to and wider distribution of this unique, original content.

Additionally, an LA Chargers fan update will be featured on the Wednesday night edition of Azteca America’s longtime network sports program, “Los Protagonistas.” The segment also will air on Fridays during Azteca Los Angeles 54’s local sports show, “Tiempo Extra.”

“We strive to provide Chargers fans with the best experience in every way possible,” said A.G. Spanos, Chargers President of Business Operations. “Whether it’s on-field performance, in-venue experience, season ticket member service or, in this case, unparalleled television access throughout the LA region, placing a premium on our fans and their relationship with us is of the utmost importance. This partnership only serves to enhance this priority. We are proud and excited to welcome Azteca Los Angeles 54 to the Chargers family.”

On the digital front, the partnership also will include cross promotion on all social media and digital platforms for Azteca Los Angeles 54 and the LA Chargers.

Azteca America’s “Knockout”

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By HMW Staff

Azteca America, debuts “Knockout Azteca”, a reality show that brings together international boxing legends to train nine boxers in the hope of turning one of them into a contender for the World Boxing Association (WBA). The reality show premieres this Friday, March 24 at 10 pm/ 9 C.

“Knockout” follows boxers as they endure rigorous training regimens and prepare to go head-to-head in the ring. One by one, fighters will be eliminated, until a winner emerges in each of the three respective weight classes: Featherweight, Lightweight and Cruiserweight.  Viewers will get an all-access look at not only the trainers, but also the fighters and what inspires them to compete.

The best trainers in the world will be in charge of training the nine contestants for the battles they will face both on and off the ring, among these is Mayweather Sr., who boxed during the 1970s and ‘80s and inspired fear in his opponents because of his strong defensive abilities as well as his knowledge of boxing strategy.  He later began training his son, Floyd Mayweather Jr., guiding him to world championships in five divisions.

Among the fighters that will fight the battles on the ring are Hector Camacho Jr., Ron Johnson, Rosalinda Rodriguez-Velez, and Chasity Martin.

“Knockout Azteca” is divided into three different weight classes: Featherweight (126 pounds), Lightweight (135 pounds) and super Cruiserweight (200 pounds).  The winner in each division will fight against a Top 20 contender in the WBA.

The reality show airs Fridays at 10 pm / 9 C with seven original episodes and at least one fight, one recap episode, and a boxing match to air live.

Your Editor Adds: Azteca piles on Deportes

Univision Reports Higher Quarterly Earnings, CEO Touts Ratings Trends

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By Georg Szalai


The company, led by CEO Randy Falco, expects $376 million in FCC spectrum auction proceeds.
Univision Communications on Thursday reported higher fourth-quarter earnings and said that it anticipates receiving approximately $376 million in proceeds from the FCC spectrum auction this year.

It said it would use the proceeds to pay down debt.

On the Spanish-language media giant’s earnings call, CEO Randy Falco discussed the company’s changes to its programming strategy after some ratings disappointments last year. He said a January announcement that Isaac Lee will oversee content development across Univision and programming partner and Mexican TV giant Televisa “demonstrates the strength of our relationship with Televisa.” And he emphasized: “The United States now will become a primary place for distribution of content, not a secondary” place.

Falco also told analysts that “we have seen some good results from recent programming changes.” For example, in the fourth quarter, Univision saw ratings improvements in the 9 p.m. time slot, he said. And in the current first quarter, it is up almost 10 percent in primetime helped by new family-friendly live programming in the 8 p.m. hour, Falco added.

Univision is also continuing to invest in non-Televisa content, such as a previously announced upcoming El Chapo miniseries with Netflix, he said.

Univision operates such assets as broadcast networks Univision Network and UniMas, formerly Telefutura, as well as cable channel Galavision and sports network Univision Deportes.

NBCUniversal-owned Telemundo last year reached some landmark victories to beat Univision in the demographic of 18-49 year olds. But Univision said Thursday that it finished the 2015/2016 broadcast season as the most-watched Spanish language network overall for the 24th consecutive year and also leads the overall audience season-to-date.

The Spanish-language media giant, which has been planning an IPO, posted a fourth-quarter profit of $108.0 million, compared with a year-ago profit of $8.6 million.

Fourth-quarter adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA), another profitability metric, rose 16.4 percent to $390.1 million, driven by a 16 percent gain in the company’s media networks unit and a 15.4 percent increase in its radio division.

Quarterly revenue rose 15 percent to $846.5 million, or 8.5 percent when excluding for better comparability the political/advocacy advertising and content licensing revenue in both periods. Advertising revenue increased 7.8 percent to more than $541 million. Non-advertising revenue, including carriage fees and content licensing, rose 30.6 percent to $305 million.

Said Falco: “Our fourth quarter marked a strong finish to a very positive year for Univision where we achieved the highest revenue and adjusted OIBDA in the history of our company.” He added: “Our investments to strengthen and diversify our content and portfolio of assets have helped us to build upon our position as the No. 1 network for U.S. Hispanics and significantly grow our reach.”

Falco also said: “As we look ahead, we are optimistic that our increasingly diverse portfolio of leading media assets will position us to perform well in a rapidly changing media landscape.”

On the call, Falco said he expects “a strong upfront” advertising sales season in May, with management emphasizing its team will highlight recent ratings improvements in upfront talks.

Your Editor Asks: Will Univision return to its Spanish-language base?

Judge Restores Univision Programming to Charter

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Temporary restraining order expires on Feb. 9

By Jon Lafayette

A New York State judge granted Charter Communications a temporary restraining order that restores Univision’s programming to Charter cable subscribers. Univision pulled its programming when its contract with Charter expired on Jan. 31, leaving 2.5 million Hispanic viewers blacked out.

In a statement, Univision said that “a judge who was temporarily assigned to our case today said that she planned to issue an order that Univision’s networks and stations had to be restored on Charter Spectrum for 7 days.  This order only lasts until February 9, when the judge permanently assigned to the litigation is back in court.  For the 7 day period that it is receiving Univision’s services, Charter Spectrum will be required to post a bond covering the actual market value of Univision’s programming, rather than the inadequate rates that Charter Spectrum has been paying.”

Related: Computer Companies Side With Univision in Charter Carriage Fight

Univision said it “remains ready and willing to meet at any time with Charter Spectrum to engage in comprehensive, good-faith negotiations for the long term carriage of our stations and networks. To date, Charter Spectrum has steadfastly refused to engage in such negotiations.”

Your Editor Marvels: Univision is knocking them down. The obstacles, I mean

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